Preserving the Fire

Seth with an old nail apron. What a combination - Star wars and Mule Hide Roofing

Seth with an old nail apron. What a combination – Star wars and Mule Hide Roofing

It’s 6AM and five year old Seth, sitting beside me on the couch wrapped in his favorite blanket, looks up and says,

“Poppy, can we go downstairs?”

“Downstairs” is Seth’s word for my basement workshop. It’s a place where he can play with toys unlike anything from the McGiant toy store. “Downstairs” contains cigar boxes with string, old pulleys, hinges, and rubber bands. There are bins filled with cut offs, and the joy of double stick tape, and nails and hammers, and Poppy never tells him to stop making noise. He’s always dusting off some box of treasures I forgot about. Seth’s job is to point out the wonder in the everyday, and mine is to preserve that fire in his imagination. He’s much better with a mallet than he was last summer and just now getting the hang of drawing circles with a compass.


Jim Tolpin and I have been thinking a lot about preserving the fire lately, and we have some fun and exciting plans in the works. I’ll have more to share about it in coming days but I promise it will be more fun than a cigar box full of string!

George R. Walker


About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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3 Responses to Preserving the Fire

  1. ericspaw says:

    Preserve that “Sense of wonder” because once it is lost, it is hard to find again.

  2. Jim Tolpin says:

    Actually, it does involve a bit of string. And magic. Sort of.

  3. Very cool George. I love having my girls in the shop. They treat the workshop differently than the rest of the house – as if it’s a place where they can use their imagination in a unique way. Reading your adventures with Seth made me think of reading Grandpa’s Workshop with my five year old. We read it last month and it was the first time she paid full attention and asked lots of questions. Thanks for sharing this story and I look forward to what’s ahead.

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